Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes the statement submitted last week by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for the Congressional Record addressing the deteriorating situation in Bahrain. In his statement, Senator Wyden looked back seven years to the violent government crackdown that took place when Bahraini citizens launched a peaceful protest movement in 2011. He called attention to how, rather than reform, the Bahraini authorities have intensified their attack on independent civil society. Just this last year, the government committed a number of serious abuses, including amending the constitution to allow military courts to try civilians and restoring power to Bahrain’s National Security Agency, which was initially stripped of its authority after torturing political prisoners. Senator Wyden also raised his concern over the Bahraini government’s willingness to arbitrarily revoke citizenship as a punishment for activism and dissent – referencing ADHRB’s observations of this trend.
The senator specifically voiced disappointment with the Trump administration for its refusal to push the Bahraini government to adhere to its human rights commitments. Senator Wyden noted the importance of the United States’ relationship with Bahrain, but said he also felt it was his responsibility as an elected official to hold America’s international partners to a higher standard. Senator Wyden concluded the statement by calling on Bahrain to halt its deliberate campaign of silencing peaceful opposition and to release prisoners of conscience like human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.
Read the full statement here.